Empire Day Celebration to Mark the 160th Anniversary of Emperor Norton’s Public Reign
On the morning of 17 September 1859, Joshua Norton walked into the Clay Street office of George Fitch, editor of the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, and handed Fitch a Proclamation publicly declaring himself "Emperor of these United States."
Fitch printed the Proclamation in that evening's edition.
With this single act, Norton founded a borderless Empire of the heart that continues to the present and into the future.
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On 17 September 2015, The Emperor's Bridge Campaign launched a new holiday to celebrate the anniversary of this occasion.
We gathered on Clay Street, in the shadow of the Transamerica Pyramid — and across from the former site of the Bulletin, where Joshua Norton hand-delivered his original Proclamation.
Then, we walked over to the nearby Comstock Saloon to raise a glass to Emperor Norton in the shadow of the sculpture of the Emperor that presides over the main bar.
We called it Empire Day.
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THIS Tuesday 17 September, for the fifth year running, the Campaign continues this tradition — co-hosted with our friends at Comstock Saloon — and we do so on a red-letter date that marks the 160th anniversary of the Empire.
The 160th Anniversary of
Emperor Norton’s Public Reign
Tuesday 17 September 2019
8 a.m to 8 p.m. — Leave flowers* at the site where Joshua Norton hand-delivered his
Proclamation declaring himself Emperor of the United States. There will be a sign and
a “vase” with water at the site on Clay Street — just east of the southeastern corner
of Clay & Liedesdorff
6 p.m. — Brief commemoration on Clay Street, just east
of the southeastern corner of Clay & Liedesdorff
(across from Transamerica Redwood Park)
followed by a walk over to…
TOAST AT 7 P.M.
Terrific Street Smash — $10
Argonaut brandy, apricot brandy, lemon, mint
with a cash bar
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It may be far from a coincidence that Joshua Norton chose 17 September to declare himself and his Empire — as this also was the date, in 1787, when delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the U.S. Constitution.
Today, 17 September is an official U.S. holiday known as Citizenship Day.
So please join us and declare yourself a citizen of the Empire! And bring all your Emperor-saluting friends!
Let's pack out the Comstock in celebration of 160 years of Emperor Norton's benevolent reign!
The event — like the Empire itself — is free and open to all.